In this project, we will evaluate the effectiveness of spray-on antiviral coatings that can be easily applied to common public surfaces such as railings, handlebars, benches, etc. The goal is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the general public from touching contaminated surfaces.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is causing catastrophic human, social, and economic effects everywhere. Countries have responded with varying levels of restrictions on people’s movements in public spaces to reducing the spread of the virus. Lockdowns or restrictions in freedom of movement is neither desirable, nor a sustainable way to deal with current and future pandemics, we need to develop methods to make societies resilient to such public health crises now and in the future.
One of the biggest risks of the spread of COVID-19 comes from touching surfaces in public places such as hand-rails, handle-bars, escalators hand-rails. Contaminated surfaces are a major pathway for the transmission of this infectious disease where the coronavirus can persist many hours even days. One way to tackle this problem is by applying an antiviral coating on such surfaces, which is easy to apply, effective for a reasonable period (days or weeks) and can be periodically reapplied as it wears off.
Our concept is a spray-on coating of organic natural materials mixed with well-known disinfectants. This coating is expected to peel-off upon handling, exposing fresh surfaces with disinfectants, until it is completely worn out. After rigorously testing the coatings on model surfaces, we will carry out a feasibility study in Stockholm Central Station and in the campus of Akademiska Hus in Gothenburg.
Updates: We have tested over 45 coatings. The most promising one is an alcohol formulation of a cellulose-based polymer that can be applied with a non-pressurized hand-spray. The film dries out within a minute and forms a transparent film. The films gave a 4 log reduction (99.99% reduction) of viral infectivity when tested with SARS-CoV-2 virus. This excellent anti-viral performance was maintained even after 80 abrasion cycles, suggesting a homogenous distribution of the active ingredient within the coating.
With every new threat, there is also an opportunity to rise to the challenge and build resilience. RISE, with expertise in surface chemistry is uniquely placed to lead this project and will be fulfilling its societal role with research and development support in quickly bringing technical solutions to the market to meet new challenges. Cleaning and maintenance solution providers (here Trion Tensid) will have new products and a global market to sell their innovative products. The needs owners (here Jernhusen and Akademiska Hus) can demonstrate adaptability to new threats and increase the public’s trust in them.
Spray-on self sanitizing coatings